Radiological Emergency Preparedness
Statement of Function
The State Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan identifies Indian River County to be in the Ingestion Pathway Zone (IPZ) of the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant and designates us as a "host county" responsible for receiving, monitoring, and sheltering evacuees in the event of a radiological emergency at the nuclear plant. Federal and state legislation require Florida Power and Light (FPL) to compensate government agencies for all radiological preparedness activities, including planning, training and exercise drills. The Indian River County Radiological Emergency Program receives all of its funding from FPL in support as a Host County of radiological emergency preparedness for the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant. The Radiological Emergency Preparedness Analyst is responsible for preparing plans and procedures to prepare, respond, and recover from a radiological event. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), under Homeland Security guidelines, requires bi-annually evaluated exercises for risk and host counties. Federal, State and local agencies are participants as evaluators or players.
- Although the potential for a radiological incident is extremely remote, we have taken a proactive position to ensure public safety. Federal authorities established two emergency planning areas, a 10-mile radius from the plant site known as the Plume Exposure Pathway for St. Lucie County residents and a 50 mile radius extending from the plant site known as the Ingestion Pathway for St. Lucie and surrounding counties. Indian River County is located within the Ingestion Pathway Zone. The principal exposure source from this pathway would be from ingestion of contaminated water or foods. Through Federal, Utility, State and Local agencies pre-planned protective actions, are in place for residents living in both areas.
- The St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant is located on Hutchison Island approximately 8 miles southeast of Ft. Pierce. Nuclear energy production is monitored closely by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission a federal government agency, ensuring compliance with federal regulations on public health, safety and the environment. Florida Power and Light provides extensive programs designed to ensure public health and safety is protected through plant design; experienced and well–trained employees; a comprehensive emergency plan; and a strong security program. On site inspections are conducted daily and reliable service is maintained through a variety of backup safety measures.
- Indian River County is required annually to participate in Federal evaluated exercises to test and evaluate our preparedness plan for a radiological incident at the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant. Our exercises and participation has always been successful and we have consistently received high marks from the Federal Emergency Management Evaluators.
- In the event of a radiological incident, Indian River County is prepared with highly skilled/trained personnel in Fire/Rescue, Law Enforcement, Red Cross and the Department of Health to swiftly deal with the incident. In coordination with the Department of Emergency Management the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the public information lines will be activated when required. The Department of Emergency Services will coordinate with other local/municipal, state and federal authorities.
2022/2023 Goals and Objectives
- Participate as a taskforce member of the St. Lucie Nuclear Radiological Preparedness Program and the Florida Statewide Task Force Planning Team.
- Participate in the regional and national State Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program Annual Conference for 2022.
- Work with State and Federal agencies through Staff Assistance Visits to provide elements necessary for the St. Lucie Nuclear Plant- Annual Letter of Certification.
- Coordinate and provide necessary radiological emergency preparedness training.
- Attend necessary radiological emergency preparedness training for professional development.
- Prepare radiological training material for emergency workers.
- Participate in the 2022 St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant Evaluated Ingestion Pathway Exercise and the 2022 Reception Center Exercise.